After you have done your research and chosen a handful of used cars that you’re interested in, the next step is to visit a dealership and check them out. You’ll need to do a few things before you start the car buying process. Taking the time to assess each vehicle will not only ensure you buy a ride you like, but it can also save you from winding up with a lemon.
1. Test drive each car
The best way to know for sure if a certain vehicle is right for you is to take it for a spin. When you go out for a test drive, don’t just circle the block a few times. Take the car out on a highway and test it out in various conditions to really get a feel for how it handles. Pay attention to how it responds when you take turns, accelerate and brake. Remember, you’re going to be driving this car for at least a few years, so it is important you are comfortable.
2. Have a mechanic inspect the vehicle
Once you’ve decided on a particular model, have an independent mechanic inspect it. This will usually cost between $75 and $150, but the professional can spot any issues you might not notice, such as signs of flood damage or major repairs that have been performed on a vehicle. The dealer may offer to make repairs or replace parts before you buy, so you won’t incur the cost.
3. Negotiate pricing
Remember the research you did earlier? Now is the time to use that information. Sites like Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports can help you determine the average selling price of the car you want, based on its current condition. When you are well informed, you’re less likely to pay too much for a used car.
New Jersey Auto Auction is a good place to find the car you want, as every model on the lot is CARFAX certified, so drivers know they’ll be getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.